RMS St Helena Review and Specifications
Specifications of RMS St Helena
|Year built||1989 / Age : 31|
|Flag state||United Kingdom|
|Builder||A&P-Appledore International Ltd (Aberdeen, Scotland)|
|Class||Royal Mail Ship / cargo passenger ship|
|Owner||St Helena Line Ltd|
|Speed||14 kn / 26 kph / 16 mph|
|Length (LOA)||105 m / 344 ft|
|Beam (width)||19 m / 62 ft|
|Gross Tonnage||6767 gt|
|Passengers||128 - 156|
|Decks with cabins||3|
Review of RMS St Helena
RMS Saint Helena is one of the world's last still operational "Royal Mail Ships" (RMS). The registered in the UK vessel is a unique cargo-passenger ship, specifically built (in Aberdeen Scotland) to supply UK's St Helena Island. This remote island is located in the south Atlantic Ocean, approx 1200 ml (1900 km) off Africa's coast.
The ship departs once every 3 weeks from Cape Town South Africa, carrying passengers and supplies to Saint Helena Island before continuing to Ascension Island (to the north). Luxuries onboard are minimal. By the ship's schedule, passengers must stay on the island of St Helena for at least 8 nights. It’s obviously not for everyone but remains an itinerary ("cruise") unlike any other.
However, that is set to change soon, when Saint Helena Island gets its first international airport to offer direct flights from Britain and South Africa. This development saw the famous Royal Mail Ship retired and changed the island forever. According to the UK Government estimates, up to 30,000 visitors per year could visit Saint Helena Island once air links are established. Scheduled passenger flights to the St Helena Island started on October 14, 2017.
The voyage (originally intended as the RMS St Helena's last one) began on June 16, 2016, from the UK and ended on July 15 in Cape Town. As part of this farewell sailing, Royal Mail organised letter exchange with pupils from St Helena Island and Cardiff. However, due to airport's postponed opening, the ship's schedule was extended as an interim measure, running through July 2017.
RMS St Helena is equipped to transport a wide range of cargo, including liquids, in order to meet the needs of St Helena Island's population. She also has berths for a total of 128 passengers and guest facilities, including lounges, shop, swimming pool. RMS St Helena also has an onboard doctor and well-equipped medical facilities. The capacity of the vessel was extended in 2012 by an additional 24 extra cabin berths and a gym.
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On October 5, 2017, the shipowner St Helena Line Ltd announced that in February 2018 the St Helena ship will be withdrawn from service. The company appointed the London UK-based shipbroker CW Kellock (part of Eggar Forrester Group) to handle the vessel's sale.
The ship was built specifically for the "UK - St Helena Island" route. As cargo-passenger vessel, it had an original passenger capacity 126 (increased to 156 / 56 cabins during drydock refurbishment 2012), cargo capacity 3750 m3 bale, cargo/container capacity 92 TEUs (including 17 reefers / refrigerated containers). The ship was staffed with 56 crew and officers.
RMS St Helena was one of all 4 ships in operation with the right to carry the RMS ("Royal Mail Ship") prefix.
The ship's last ferry voyage from Saint Helena Island started on February 10 and ended in Cape Town (South Africa) on February 15, 2018. During its 1990-2017 service, the ship did a total of 268 crossings, ferrying all the island’s supplies and goods.
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